Well there it is, the first full week of Shroud of the Avatar over and done with. It’s actually been a bit more than a week, but let’s not get hung up on details. The important thing is, how are you doing? How is that character building coming along? And were you able to raise some cash after the gem mines shut down?

As I said, I got my house in Braemar back, but I have yet to actually decorate it. I managed to place the basement (which is quite dark), place some crafting stations and turn the lights on with some candelabras. I haven’t crafted anything yet, because I keep hearing the recipes are all out of whack. It’s no longer 10 leather to make that chest armor, but something like 50. Not sure I can afford that sort of crafting.

Decorating has been light because I’ve been out in the wilderness hunting wolves, bears and spiders. I’ve also completed all the quests that I know of. That pushed me through several levels and I was finally able to get strong enough to beat up a wolf all by myself. You have to take your victories where you can get them. I started with melee, because archer is just too expensive and who has the encumbrance to carry all those arrows?

I raided the gem mines before they were shut down and that will have to carry me a long way. Ah, I’ll miss you loot cave.

With all that done, I switched back over to archery. I had a good time with that in the previous release and wanted to try it out again. First off, it’s very expensive to maintain. Between the cost of arrows and repairing/rebuilding armor, you need to have a lot of gold on hand to make this work. However, it’s a very exciting character to play. Melee is a little redundant with pressing 1, 2, 3, etc as you go down the combat bar. Archer is not an autopilot kind of character. You have to pay attention lest you get mauled by a bear, swarmed by skeletons or poisoned to death by spiders.

Second, the archer spends a lot of time running. You have to calculate your aimed shot, then all the follow up shots so you do the most damage, but still have time and room to avoid getting hit. Also, you can’t just stand on a rock and shoot at everything that comes near you. You need to keep your feet on the ground to be considered in combat.

That being said, the archer is still a lot of fun. Complicated, but fun. I’ve managed to reach Level 41 which is pretty good considering I got to Level 46 in Release 13. Here’s a few things I’ve found so far.

The easiest way to move up in levels in the beginning is to complete the quests. Talk to Morton in Owl’s Head, Harry and Erin in Kingsport, Flynn and Bodan in Braemar and Kelly in Owl’s Nest. That should jump you multiple levels and then you can talk to Myra in Owl’s Head and venture down into the Clink.

When that’s over, it’s time to take on the environment. I would suggest South Valeway as a good place to get resources and dispatch creatures that are on your level. Once you make some progress, you can head over to Deep Ravenswood where the challenges and XP are much greater. You can get a lot of XP and hides from the bears and wolves out there. You can get a pretty savage beating too, but you have to take the good with the bad.

How will you make money? Since crafting doesn’t seem to be the way to go, head out to Greymark Forest and beat down some Elf Fighters. You should be able to stock up on Iron Longswords and take them back for decent cash. It won’t make you rich, but it should sustain you. You can also sell the hides you snare from the animals or maybe try and make some armor out of them. I have 480 animal hides in the bank just waiting for me to do something with them. That bank probably smell terrible by now.

How is my archer looking? Well, I’m glad you asked. I have the Founders Armor which is pretty rubbish if I’m honest. I would much prefer the Elven Armor from the previous release. However, I do have the Elven Bow, or rather a stockpile of them from all the Elf Archer I’ve dealt with out in the Greymark Forest. It’s easier to steal them off fallen enemies than buy new ones.

My archer is sporting Aimed Shot, Piercing Arrow, Disabling Shot, Blinding Shot, Flaming Arrow, Ice Arrow and Death Touch. Sadly, Multishot and Quick Draw aren’t usable in the tree yet. However, using this combo means I carry 500 of each arrow type. That’s 2500 arrows at any given time so you’re darn right I had to increase encumbrance. That is a pesky limitation. I see why it’s in the game, but the starting level should be a big higher.

And no, 500 arrows isn’t excessive. Have you seen me shoot? I go through 500 of the regular arrows in no time. Let’s be honest, do you want to run out of arrows in the middle of fighting evil in a dungeon? “Right, yes, I know, I almost defeated you Mr. Lich, but would you be a sport and hold on a tick while I pop back to town and grab some arrows. Awfully sorry. Won’t be a minute.” I’ll carry as many arrows as I can even if my character is walking funny.

So where do we go from here? Well, there are still plenty of things to do. There is still the Lich in Ravenswood, there is the Lich in the Obsidian Keep, there are all the skeletons and Lich in the Veiled Swamp and all the other nasty things that live out in the Mysterious Swamp. There are also all the places to jump to through the Lunar Rift which I haven’t been back to in ages. Unlike some people (you know who you are) I’m not going to try and solo the Dungeon Run. That’s just madness. I may be a little punch drunk, but I haven’t been hit in the head that many times. I would like to retry this build on one of Bayridge’s Dungeon Runs and see if I can make it to the end. I’ll follow him into combat down there, but I’m not going alone.

There is still lots of decorating to do as well. I still have tons of items in the bank that need to be placed. My house was looking pretty good for the last release. Ok, to be more precise, I thought it was looking pretty good. I don’t have the money to go wild with decorating so it will be conservative furnishings. Don’t be surprised if a few tavern or basement items end up in my house.

There is also plenty of wood collecting to do. I need to make some furniture so it’s wood chopping I must do. Best place for that is Greymark Forest. Or at least it was. I notice a lot of trees are already down in the forest areas these days.

Can I make Level 50? I think that’s reasonable. I think the ever increasing distance between levels will make 50 a pretty hefty goal. I’m not sure what other skills will be really effective, but we’ll see how it goes.

Plenty of work to do. Lots of wood to gather. Much furniture carving to tend to. The life of the Avatar is work, work, work all the time.

Oh yeah, you got that hat yet?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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